Honeywell International: Developing Supervisors…Globally

The Problem: The acquisition of Honeywell Inc. by the larger AlliedSignal in 1999 created the major conglomerate Honeywell International that produces a variety of commercial and consumer products, engineering and management services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers.  Some of the most recognizable products are its home thermostats, Prestone Antifreeze, and Garrett turbochargers.

In 2000 GE announced it would attempt to acquire Honeywell; the merger was cleared by American authorities but was blocked by the European Commission for fear it would lead to GE’s dominance of the large jet engine market.

In anticipation of the merger, Honeywell disbanded its Learning & Development function, assuming they would merge theirs with GE’s.  When this did not occur, it found itself without the talent and the resources to provide the leadership development that it desperately needed in order to bring all the pieces together.

The Solution, Essentials for Supervision: The company turned to Quest to quickly develop and implement a company-wide program for all its supervisors that would prepare the far-flung company for increased global competition.  Using its considerable experience and up-to-date learning resources, Quest customized its programs to focus on Honeywell’s Leadership Principles, its Six Sigma Plus and Lean initiatives, and best supervisory practices. What emerged was a 40-hour, blended learning program called Essentials for Supervision that became a bed-rock of “how to” for supervisors and managers, as well as a means for creating a unified corporate culture for the recently merged company.

The Results: Tabbed a “vital resource” and “core asset” for managing its human resources, Quest and its HR partners at Honeywell propelled the program around the globe, with translations into 12 languages.  Certified Quest and company facilitators spread the “Honeywell way” to all the legacy companies.

Over a period of ten years, this program was continually updated by Quest and processes were deployed for ensuring consistent, quality implementation. In the most recent version, the program includes the Honeywell Operating System, which incorporates practices (in name only) to the Toyota Production System. The program became a living part of the Honeywell organization and touched the lives of close to 2,000 supervisors per year.